With the pending retirement of Lee Chong Wei looming after the 2012 Olympics, the Malaysian world #1 has focused all of his efforts this year claiming one of the few titles to elude him in his career. His performances this year has propelled him to the undoubted favourite for the title, even with Lin Dan in the draw. The Chinese 2nd seed has also allegedly set his retirement after the 2012 Games in London, with both players not even reaching 30. China’s big hope has hand picked the events he has played since his Olympic triumph in Beijing three years ago.
There is the European threat, with Peter Gade who never considered a retirement before the age of 30 but still looking to claim his first world title. He is seeded 3rd this year to break up the Asian dominance in the top seeds this year. The next generation could break through this year with the likes of Chen Long, Kenichi Tago and Du Pengyu all receiving seeds this year.
There are some players to watch also from the 48 unseeded players, Kazushi Yamada reached the last 8 in Paris last year, Shon Wan Ho was a top 16 this year and Spain’s Pablo Abian is one of the most consistent players on the EBU Circuit.
Lee Chong Wei
Seeded – 1
2010 Result – Quarter Finals
1st Round Opponent – Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand)
Likely Threats – Park Sung Hwan (Last 16) Chen Long (QF)
His performances in the past 8 months have put him at a level of invincibility that Lin Dan had going into the 2008 Olympics. His opener against the world #32 Saensomboonsuk is s favourable start as Lee Chong Wei could have hoped for. He hold a 5-0 head to head advantage and has failed to drop a game in any of the five matches.
His 3rd round match if the seeds go according to plan is the world #9 Park Sung Hwan, who he holds an 11-1 head to head advantage against with that single victory for the Korean coming in 2004. Chen Long is a likely quarter final opponent, but the Chinese player has only claimed a single win over the Malaysian in five matches and that was in 2009.
This event is ultimately Lee Chong Wei’s to lose. With four Super Series victories in 2011 already to his name as well as winning two of their last three Super Series against Lin Dan.
Seeded – 2
2010 Result – Quarter Finals
1st Round Opponent – Kestutis Navickas (Lithuania)
Likely Threats – Peter Gade (SF)
The 2009 world champion tamely crashed out last year and controversy had surrounded the Chinese player since. Withdrawals before matches with Chinese players has been given as various injuries but losses to Sho Sasaki as well as Lee Chong Wei on numerous occasions have seen Lin Dan’s aura of invincibility disappear.
It will be his first meeting with Navickas on his opening round match, with a massive question mark looming over a potential quarterfinal match with Du Pengyu. Peter Gade should be his likely semi final opponent, who defeated him in the Swiss Open in 2010 but his overall record over the Dane is an impressive 14-3 in the Chinese players favour.
Lin Dan is capable of winning this event, if he turns up without the controversy that his plagued him for the past 12 months.
Seeded – 3
2010 Result – Semi Finals
1st Round Opponent – Rajiv Ouseph (England)
Likely Threats – Simon Santoso (Last 16) Lin Dan (SF)
The 34-year old goes into the event knowing that he is capable of reaching the final of the world championships, a feat he accomplished ten years ago in Seville. His record against the top two seeds is poor, to say the least but his sole victory of Lee Chong Wei resulted in his last Super Series victory (Korean Open, 2009).
His opening match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph is a favourable one, with the Dane holding a 6-0 head to head advantage and the Englishman failing to claim a single game in any of the six defeats. His 3rd round match against Simon Santoso will be his first main test, with the Indonesian claiming a victory this year against Gade in Korea.
Seeded – 6
2010 Result – Winner
1st Round Opponent – Raul Must (Estonia)
Likely Threats – Taufik Hidayat (QF) Lee Chong Wei (SF)
To say that Chen Jin was a surprise winner last year would be an understatement. It was so improbable that few could have believed that a Taufik Hidayat – Chen Jin final was possible. The two could potentially meet once again at the last 8 stage, with Chen Jin leading the head to head 3-1.
Raul Must is Chen Jin’s first opponent this week and their first meeting ever. Chen Jin’s recent form has been average, after inheriting the Singapore Open title with a Lin Dan withdrawal and three defeats to Sho Sasaki this year has seriously dented his credentials of retaining his world title.
Seeded – 4
2010 – Runner-Up
1st Round Opponent – Rodrigo Pacheco Carrillo (Peru)
Likely Threats – Chen Jin (QF) Lee Chong Wei (SF)
Taufik Hidayat took the decision to play the US Open and Canada Open in the build up to the World Championships and suffered a double dose of defeat from Marc Zwiebler, who defeated him in both tournaments.
His opening match against Peruvian Rodrigo Pacheco is one of the easiest matches the Indonesian could have faced and has already defeated the world #61 previously in the world championships, albeit eight years previously.
Hidayat has to prove he is capable of competing with the top 10 players once again and put the double disappointment of the US and Canada Open behind him.
Seeded – 14
2010 Result – 3rd Round
1st Round Opponent – Valeriy Atrashchenkov (Ukraine)
Likely Threats – Chen Long (Last 16) Lee Chong Wei (QF)
No player is coming into the event on a better run of form than the German, two victories in the US Open and Canada Open has put him well inside the top 20 in the world and with a very favourable opening two rounds before his biggest test against Chen Long.
2010 Result – Quarter Finals
1st Round Opponent – Daniel Paiola (Brazil)
Likely Threats – Du Pengyu (Last 32)
He appeared from almost nowhere in 2010 before losing out to Peter Gade in the quarterfinals, his run last year was a warning to all of the top players that the world championships is the premier event of the year and anyone can beat anyone on their day, can Yamada repeat the feat in 2011?
Seeded – 11
2010 Result – Did Not Play
1st Round Opponent – Brice Leverdez (France)
Likely Threats – Du Pengyu (Last 16) Lin Dan (QF)
His impressive 2011 has made him into a player that nobody wants to face, Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Boonsak Ponsana , Park Sung Hwan and Tien Minh Nguyen have all lost to Sasaki in 2011. His second round match could be easier than his opener against Leverdez, who Sasaki was ranked lower than 12 month previously.
Seeded – 15
2010 Result – 2nd Round
1st Round Opponent – Ajay Jayaram (India)
Likely Threats – Chen Jin (Last 16) Taufik Hidayat (QF)
His heroics in the 2010 All England proved he could play with the best in the world, his impressive wins over Zweibler and Santoso in the Sudirman was a reminder just a few months ago that he is a player not to be taken likely. His most recent match against his potential 3rd round opponent was a victory over Chen Jin in his run the 2010 All England final.
Play begins on August 8, with two days of first round matches.
Men’s Singles Draw:
The first morning at the All England saw seeds tumble on a regular basis before the afternoon brought the best players in the world show to off their ability. However, play ended with the biggest shock of the day with the defeat of Taufik Hidayat.
World championship quarter finalist Kazushi Yamada crushed the 2nd seeded Hidayat in a one-sided 21-14, 21-10 victory that took just over 30 minutes and opened the bottom half of the draw for the likes of Lin Dan to capitalize on. The Chinese have a strong showing with six players in the last 16 and the biggest name of them all is safely into the second round as Lin Dan progressed to set up a second round match against Rumbaka of Indonesia. Last years beaten finalist Kenichi Tago takes on last years semi finalist in Peter Gade in the second round this year, both progressing without difficulty today.
Lee Chong Wei was in superb form to set up a tough second round match against the 4th of last years semi finalists in Bao Chunlai, with the Chinese player impressive in his 21-10, 21-6 win over Sony Kuncoro in his opening round match. The Danish presence in the draw is down to just the 4th seeded Gade, with Jan O Jorgensen and Joachim Persson both crashing out on the opening day. World champion Chen Jin survived a tough opening game against Rajiv Ouseph before cruising to a 2 game victory and a second round match against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler. Continue reading »
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The second SuperSeries Premier event of 2011 takes place this week in Birmingham as the All England Championships take centre stage this week. Lin Dan is looking to regain his title and take his second Super Series Premier title whilst defending champion Lee Chong Wei will be looking for revenge after his Korea Open defeat to Lin Dan.
Lee Chong Wei is the top seed this week and starts his campaign against Sho Sasaki of Japan before a potential second round match against the winner of Bao Chunlai and Sony Kuncoro, both players have been seeded in Super Series events in the past few years but such is the strength and depth of the draws in the Premier events, they meet in the first round this week. The 8th seed Boonsak Ponsana faces a tough test against Simon Santoso in his first round match and the winner will likely play Joachim Persson of Denmark for a place in the last 8. Continue reading »
Continue reading »
An all-conquering Danish performance was punctuated with the lack of use of the European #1 Peter Gade to ensure victory in Amsterdam. Tine Baun was also used sparingly on route to the final as the younger generation of Jan O Jorgensen and Karina Jorgensen were used throughout the week as the top singles player.
The last 8 failed to provide any shocks, with the Bulgarian’s unlikely run coming to an end against England in a 3-1 defeat whilst home interest also ended at the quarter final stage as the Dutch were defeated in a convincing 3-0 loss to Russia. Germany had little trouble defeating the French in the last 8, with Juliane Schenk being in impressive form in her 21-4, 21-3 victory to book the German’s place in the last 4. Denmark also had little trouble defeating Poland to reach the last 4 to set up a rematch with the English in the semi final.
The surprise of the semi final match between Denmark and England was Rajiv Ouseph’s impressive three game win over Jan O Jorgensen in the 2nd match of the rubber to level it at 1-1. Denmark took the women’s doubles comfortably and after Ellis and Adcock took the opening game in the 4th match against Boe and Mogensen, England were hopeful of taking it to a 5th and final match but the world #1′s fought back to take the next 2 games and book Denmark’s place in the final.
The other semi final looked to be all but over after two impressive German victories in the singles, with Zwiebler and Schenk taking Germany within a match of the final. The Russian pairing of Vislova and Sorokina won a tightly faught match to send the match into a 4th rubber but surprisingly didn’t play the experienced pairing of Durkin and Nikolaenko, instead putting out Sozonov and Dremin against Kindervater and Scholetter in a one-sided win for the German’s to set up a rematch of last years final.
Juliane Schenk got Germany off to the perfect start with a win over Karina Jorgensen, Schenk would go unbeaten over the week winning all 4 of her matches. Marc Zwiebler had the chance to capitalize on Jan O Jorgensen who was defeated in his previous match against Ouseph. The world #12 had little trouble in beating Zwiebler, ranked 5 places below him in the world rankings to level the final at 1-1. The Danish strength over the week had been in their doubles matches and the final was no exception as Pedersen and Rytter Juhl put Denmark within a match of the title with a two game victory over Overzier and Marinello. Boe and Mogensen completed the task with a two game victory over Kindervater and Scholetter to ensure Denmark retained their title for the 8th time in succession, dating back to 1996 when they won on home turf in Herning.
The opening day of the Super Series Premier offered the opportunity for several of the world top players to stumble early, however all of them passed their opening round tests. The Chinese as expected faired well on the first full day of competition, with several of their new partnerships getting off to excellent starts in the doubles events.
The last 16 of the men’s singles is one befitting of this new Premier series of events, with even the second round match of Rajiv Ouseph and Simon Santoso being one of intrigue. Santoso defeated the 7th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, whose nightmare start to 2011 continues whilst Rajiv Ouseph defeated Hu Yun, ranked one place higher at #12 in the world in his opening round matchup. Lee Chong Wei survived a scare against Jan O Jorgensen, eventually progressing in three games to set up his second round match with Park Sung Hwan. Peter Gade’s opening Super Series match of 2011 was a excellent two game win over Indonesia’s Dionysuis Hayom Rumbaka, leaving him as the last Dane remaining in the draw. China however have 6 of the last 16 players in the singles, with all four of their seeded players progressing into round 2. The top half of the draw has 5 Chinese players in it, with Bao Chunlai taking on qualifier Wang Zhengming is what is unlikely to be the last all-Chinese match this week. Lin Dan is the sole representative in the bottom half of the draw and takes on Germany’s Marc Zwiebler in the second round.
All 8 of the seeded women are safely into the second round of the singles, with Tine Baun impressively beating China’s Li Xuerui in two games to book her place in the last 16. The four Chinese seeds are also joined in the last 16 by the 2009 world champion Lu Lan, who takes on 3rd seeded Wang Yihan in tomorrow’s second round. The Korean’s will have split allegiances in the second of the women’s singles matches as 8th seeded Bae Yoo Joun takes on Sung Ji Hyun in an all-Korean affair. Saina Nehwal had to battle all the way in her opening round match winning a tight three game match 22-20 in the final game.
Top seeded Boe and Mogensen survived a minor scare in their opening round match against Gan and Tan, needing eight attempts to win the opening game after leading 20-13 but eventually coming through in two games and take on the Japanese pairing of Kawamae and Sato. Cai and Fu progressed safely into round 2 and have set up one of the best matches in tomorrow’s order of play against the on-form Danish pair of Rasmussen and Conrad-Petersen who avenged their loss in last week’s final in Malaysia to Chinese pair Chai and Guo. 4th seeded Korean pair Ko and Yoo are also safely into the second round and take on the partnership of Blair and Limpele in the last 16.
The prospect of an all-Chinese final in the women’s doubles is all the more likely with the loss of two non-Chinese seeds on the opening day, with 4th seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh defeated by Indonesian’s Marissa and Melati. The 3rd seeds did no better, with Vislova and Sorokina defeated by last years runners-up in this event, Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan. The four Chinese seeds all progressed easily into the second round with the loss of just one game between them, the 5th seeded Pan and Du were taken to three games by the Chinese Taipei pair of Hsien and Wang. The top two seeds also progressed without difficulty, with Chien and Cheng defeating the Danish pair of Rytter Juhl and Pedersen in two games and take on the Korean qualifiers of Eom and Kim in the second round.
The 3rd seeds in the mixed doubles, Mateusiak and Zieba suffered a crushing two game defeat to the new partnership of Xu and Ma as this new partnership hopes to continue in the long line of Chinese domination in this event. A potential quarter final match with old partner He Hanbin is on the cards for Ma Jin if both progress through tomorrow’s games, with Ma and Xu taking on semi finalists last week, Blair and White whilst He and Yu take on Korean qualifiers Kim and Yoo. 2010 All-England winners Zhang and Zhao made it a double disappointment for Anastasia Russkikh today, defeating her and partner Hendra Setiawan in two games and the 5th seeds set up a second round match with Rijal and Susanto of Indonesia.
The seeded players were all in fine form today, with only the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan losing out in the men’s doubles to unseeded Adcock and Ellis of England. Peter Gade’s back injury was the big talking point of the day as to whether he would be able to play and defeat Carl Baxter.
Before Gade’s game, several seeds had already booked their place in the last 16. Rajiv Ouseph was first through with a comfortable victory over Kasper Ipsen, he was followed late in the morning by Joachim Persson, who came back from a game down to defeat Eric Pang. Gade’s return in the first of the evening matches was a stunning performance from the top seed, winning 21-11, 21-6 to book his place safely into round 2. He was joined later that hour by Jan O Jorgensen, who came through against Przemyslaw Wacha in three games. Viktor Axelsen however fell at the first hurdle this week, defeated handsomely by Du Pengyu 21-11, 21-11.
The women’s singles provided little shocks either, with all 8 seeds progressing safely. All except one, Pi Hongyan was forced into a third game by Tai Tzu Ying before coming through and progressing into round 2. The 3rd seed plays the Commonwealth bronze medals Elizabeth Cann in her second round match. Last week’s finalist Liu Xin also progressed into round 2 and will be a tough test for the 5th seeded Juliane Schenk in the second round.
The only seed to fall was the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan, the only other seed to be in any danger in the opening round was the 5th seeded Conrad-Pedersen and Rasmussen who were taking to three games by their Malaysian opponents. The mixed doubles was a similar affair, with the top seeded Gunawan and Marissa being taken to three games by the Russian pairing of Durkin and Vislova. Every other seed in the mixed doubles progressed to the last 16 without any of the other 7 seeds dropping more than 26 points on route to Thursday’s second round.
Lee Chong Wei has successfully negotiated the early rounds and defeated the two seeds in his half of the draw in the quarters, then defeating Chetan Anand in the semi finals to set up the gold medal match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph who defeated another Indian in the 5th seeded Parupalli to set up Thursday’s final.
India’s big hope for gold comes from Saina Nehwal, as she successfully progressed into Thursday’s final after beating Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff in the semi final in two games to set up a gold medal match against Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia. The 2nd seed defeated England’s Elizabeth Cann in three games to book her place in Thursday’s final. Cann will take on Egelstaff tomorrow in a rematch of their 2006 bronze medal match for a chance of a medal in 2010.
Top seeds Koo and Tan of Malaysia are through to Thursday’s final against the 2nd seeded English pair of Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark. The top seeded Malaysians have failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst the English pair had to come through a tight three game match over Triyacha and Wong of Singapore.
India has a second chance of gold in the women’s doubles, with 2nd seeds Gutta and Machiman progressing to Thursday’s final against Singapore’s top seed Sari and Yao, who defeated the 3rd seeded English pair of Wallwork and White in two games to book their place in the gold medal match on Thursday.
Nathan Robertson’s second chance at gold is also Koo Kien Keat’s second chance also as the pair match up in the mixed doubles final also. Top seeded Robertson partners Jenny Wallwork against the unseeded Malaysian pair of Koo and Chin, who have partnered up just for the Commonwealth Games. They defeated the 2nd seeded Gutta and Valiya in the quarter finals and then 3rd seeded Triyacha and Yao of Singapore in the semi finals.
Another day and another few seeds crash out early. Sony Kuncoro’s withdrawal was old news but the match that he was supposed to play was scheduled for today, meaning the definite end for the 8th seed. He wasn’t the only seed to not see the last 16 as Jan Jorgensen’s poor form in 2010 saw him crash out to Rajiv Ouspeh of England in two games.
Ouseph’s win sets up a last 16 encounter with top seed Lee Chong Wei, who came through his all-Malaysia encounter with unseeded Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, winning 21-16, 21-16. The 12th seeded Kenichi Tago was also defeated today, losing to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand in two tight games and sets up a last 16 match with the 5th seeded Taufik Hidayat who came through his match with Hsieh Yu Hsin in three games.
Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai had little trouble in setting up one of the best matches of the third round tomorrow, both comfortably winning in two games. The last round of 16 match in the top half sees 7th seeded Tien Minh Nguyen take on the 13th seeded Park Sung Hwan of Korea after the pair also won their second round matches in two games.
Chen Yong Zhao Ashton of Singapore is the unlikely story of the event, defeating Stephan Wojcikiewicz in his second round match to set up a third round encounter with 4th seeded Chen Jin, after he defeated another European to book his place in the last 16, beating Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania 21-16, 21-16 and will play Chen in tomorrow for a place in the quarter finals.
Boonsak Ponsana, the 9th seed defeated England’s Carl Baxter and plays Hsueh Hsuan Yi who was scheduled to play the 8th seeded Simon Santoso, only for the Indonesian player to pull out; leaving Hidayat as their best chance of success. Kazuski Yamada in into tomorrow’s third round after the Japanese player defeated 16th seeded Wong Choong Hann in three games and will take on Dicky Palyama of Holland after a two game victory over Misha Zilberman.
The final match of the last 16 is a rematch of the European Championship semi final, between Marc Zwiebler seeded 15 and Peter Gade, the second seed. Gade was on court for 74 minutes to fend off Shon Wan Ho of Korea in three games whilst Zwiebler defeated his Spanish opponent Pablo Abian in two games.
The bottom half of the women’s singles played their 2nd round matches today, without the loss of a seed in the entire half of the draw except for Zhou Mi who withdrew pre-event. Only Ai Goto remains unseeded in the lower half, defeating Linda Zechiri of Bulgaria 21-8, 21-10 to book her place in the last 16 against Wang Xin of China, the 3rd seed.
Pi Hongyan is France’s best chance of a title this week and started with an impressive 21-8, 21-8 win over Elena Prus of Ukraine. She takes on the 16th seed Kim Moon Hi of Korea, who came through her match in three games. Saina Nehwal had to come from a game down to progress into the 3rd round, eventually winning 20-22, 21-15, 21-8 over Chen Hsiao Huan of Chinese Taipei. Newhal takes on Russia’s 13th seed, Ella Diehl.
The bottom half of the men’s doubles played their second round matches, with Clark and Robertson continuing their excellent from with another two game win to set up a third round match against Cai and Fu of China after their two game win also today. 3rd seeded Boe and Mogensen safely progressed into the last 16 with a two game win over fellow Danes Faust and Kristiansen to set up a match with Ko and Yoo of Korea, seeded 13.
Kido and Setiawan had to work hard against Poland’s Cwalina and Logosz to set up an all-Indonesia third round match with Dasuki and Sukmawan.The final match from the bottom half sees 6th seeded Fang and Lee of Chinese Taipei take on Hashimoto and Hirata of Japan, seeded 11. Fang and Lee winning easily in two games whilst the Japanese pair were taken to three games by Malaysia’s Gan and Tan.
Just like in the women’s singles, 7 seeds remain from the 8 that started in the bottom half of the draw. Mason and Bankier defeated the 13th seeds in their opening round but lost out to Van Dooremalen and Jonathans of Holland in their second round game in two games, who will take on the 3rd seeded Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei in Round 3.
Du and Yu, China’s second seeds defeated French pairing Fontaine and Luttmann in their opening match of the championships in two games to set up a match with the 15th seeded Matsuo and Naito whose 21-0, 21-8 win over Virta and Rautala was perhaps the most impressive performance of the week to date.
There were also impressive wins for Sorokina and Vislova over another French pair of Chanteur and Matias, the 12th seeds winning 21-8, 21-7 to set up a third round match with Hyun and Jung of Korea who were a game up over Gao and Ko of Canada when the pair retired.
Lee and Lee finally ended the questions over their fitness with a two game win in their opening match, they will play Lee and Chien of Chinese Taipei tomorrow in their last 16 match. There were also wins for Gunawan and Marissa who had to come back from a game down against South Africa’s James and Edwards in what would have been one of the shocks of the week.
The world championships begun their campaign with a tough two game encounter, setting Laybourn and Rytter Juhl with a third round match with Robertson and Wallwork of England, the 15th seeds. All 8 seeds on the bottom of half of the mixed doubles are still in the event.
The draws for the 2010 World Championships were made in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, there were little doubts about the top seed in the men’s singles draw with Lee Chong Wei taking the #1 seed but there will be no rematch of the 2009 final in Paris on August 29.
Lee Chong Wei begins his campaign against Kevin Cordon, the world number 46 from Guatemala and could face a tricky second round match against world #22 Muhammad Hafiz Hashim in an all-Malaysian second round encounter. The other seed in Lee Chong Wei’s section is Jan O Jorgensen, seeded 11. The Dane has had a disappointing 2010 after bursting onto the world scene with victory over Peter Gade in Denmark and reaching the Chinese Super Series final in 2009. He begins his campaign against the Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner, ranked 86 in the world. His second round encounter will be a much tougher match with one of the best matches of the opening round with Eric Pang taking on Rajiv Ouseph for the chance to play Jorgensen or Lahnsteiner in Round 2.
Taufik Hidiyat received the 5th seed and with that, he plays Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria who is the lowest ranked player in the draw, ranked #122 in the world. His likely second round opponent is ranked almost 100 places higher in the world rankings, world #23 Yu Shin Hsieh of Chinese Taipei who takes on Portugal’s Pedro Martins in Round 1. The other seed is Kenichi Tago, one of the breakout stories of 2010 who is the #12 seed and faces the Czech national champion Petr Koukal, the world #48 in the opening round.
Lin Dan has barely played in 2010, but is still the Chinese #1 and seeded 3 for the Worlds and begins his campaign against Ali Shahhossieni of Iran, ranked 110 in the world before potentially playing the winner of the all-European match between Henrik Toth and Henri Hurskainen in the second round. The conspiracy theorists will claim that Lin Dan’s opening two matches could be the easiest run to the last 16 of any of the seeds, with only Hurskainen inside the top 50 in the world (ranked 50th). His first big test will be against Bao Chunlai, seeded 10 and the player who defeated him in the 2010 All England. The 10th seed begins against Yan Kit Chan who is current ranked 20th in the world in one of the hardest opening round match for any seed. If anything, the winner of this match will have an easier second round match, playing the winner of David Snider of Canada (ranked 89) and Scotland’s Alistair Casey (ranked 78).
Tien Minh Nguyen may not have won in Chinese Taipei to gain him more ranking points but is still seeded 7 and plays the world number 62 Ukrainian Valeriy Atrashchenkov in his opening round match. The winner of Raul Must and Dieter Domke is likely to play the Vietnamese player in round 2. Park Sung Hwan is the other seed in this section, the 13th seeded Korean takes on Derek Wong Zi Liang of Singapore, ranked 79 in the world with Park likely to play the winner of another all-European clash between Matthieu Lo Ying Ping and Vladimir Ivanov in the opening round.
The opening section from the bottom half of the draw is arguably the hardest one to come out of, with England’s Carl Baxter, ranked 27 in the world taking on Slovakia’s Michal Matejka for the chance to play the 9th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, should he defeat world number 52 Vladimir Malkov of Russia. The other seed is Simon Santoso, winner in Chinese Taipei and seeded 8. He takes on Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha, ranked 37 in the world with the winner of that match taking on the winner of Scott Evans, ranked 45 in the world and Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei, ranked 41 in the world.
The 14th seed Chetan Anand begins his campaign against Ashton Chen Ong Zhao, ranked 112th in the world in one of the bigger mismatches of the opening round and likely to play the winner of Dmytro Zavadsky and Stephan Wojcikiewicz, ranked 47 and 56 respectively. The other seed in the section is the 4th seeded Chen Jin who begins his campaign against Finland’s #1 and world #53 Ville Lang in his opening round. The other match and potentially Chen Jin’s second round opponent is between Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania, the world number 59 and Scotland’s #1 Kieran Merrilees, ranked 72 in the world.
Wong Choong Hann received the 16th seed and will take on France’s own Simon Maunoury in his opening round match in the French capital, but the world number 81 will need to play the match of his life to reach round 2. The other match to determine the winner of the Wong/Maunoury match is between Iran’s Kaveh Mehrabi, ranked 92nd in the world and Kazushi Yamada of Japan, ranked 30 in the world. Sony Kuncoro won in Macau two weeks ago and the 6th seed comes into the championships in excellent form and begins his campaign against Misha Zilberman of Israel, ranked 84th in the world in round 1. Another all-European clash is the last match in the section with world #25 Dicky Palyama of Holland taking on the 3rd Frenchman in the draw, US Open runner-up Brice Leverdez for a place in round 2.
The final section is the only one with two European seeds, with 15th seed Marc Zwiebler taking on the Czech Jan Vondra in his opening round match and a second all-European match guarantees at least one European in the last 16, with Sweden’s Magnus Sahlberg taking on Pablo Abian of Spain. Peter Gade comes into the competition as the number 2 seed and starts his campaign against Brazilian Daniel Paiola, ranked 74 in the world. The big news from this section of the draw is world number 15 Yun Hu not receiving a seeding for the event despite Chen Long not being able to play as China’s #4 and world #10 and plays Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the world number 35 in his opening match and a likely second round match against Peter Gade, which would likely be the match of the second round.